Mover vs Mudar: What’s the Difference Between These Two Spanish Verbs?
Differentiating between the Spanish verbs mover vs mudar is easier than you think.
Let’s explore the differences between mover and mudar and learn how to use each of them. I’ll also show you the conjugation for these verbs in the most important tenses.
Ready to solve the mystery of mover vs mudar?
Mover vs Mudar: The Basics
First of all, mover means “to move” and mudar means “to change.”
Both of these verbs are transitive verbs, meaning you can use them in both active and passive voice. They become reflexive verbs if you add -se to the end (moverse, mudarse).
If you need a quick refresher, check out how to Master Reflexive Verbs in Spanish Grammar.
Let’s have a look now at mover vs mudar in detail.
Mover is the word that you’ll use if you want to express physical movement. It comes from Latin “movere”.
Quiero mover la cama a la esquina.
I want to move the bed to the corner.
You’ll also use it if you want to say “to shake” or “to wag.”
Si no lo quieres, simplemente mueve tu cabeza.
If you don’t want it, just shake your head.
El perro movió la cola al verme.
The dog wagged its tail when it saw me.
You can also use it in a more metaphorical way, closer to “provoke.”
Aquel acontecimiento nos movió a cambiar nuestra actitud.
That event moved us to change our attitude.
However, you’ll hear this verb more often in its reflexive form, moverse.
Meaning and Usage of Moverse
Let’s look at all the meanings of moverse.
1. The most basic meaning is to move yourself or any of your body parts:
Necesitas moverte más para estar más sano.
You need to move more to be healthier.
Escucha la música y muévete.
Listen to the music and get moving.
2. Moverse also means “to move on” or “to move forward,”when you want to change from one conversation topic to another, for example.
Ahora, ya podemos movernos al siguiente punto de nuestra agenda.
Now, we can move on to the next point on our agenda.
3. You can also use it when you want somebody to get out of your way or simply to express the beginning of a motion:
¡Muévete! No puedo pasar.
Move it! I can’t pass.
Si te mueves ahora, llegas a tiempo.
If you get going now, you’ll arrive on time.
Now that you know the meaning of mover and moverse, let’s see its conjugation in the present, past, and future tenses. It follows -er conjugation rules and has a few irregularities.
Present Tense Conjugation Chart: Moverse
Preterite Tense Conjugation Chart: Moverse
|I moved||Yo me moví|
|You moved||Tú te moviste|
|He, she, it moved (fml. You moved)||Él, ella, usted se movió|
|We moved||Nosotros nos movimos|
|You moved||Ustedes se movieron|
|They moved||Ellos, ellas se movieron|
Future Tense Conjugation Chart: Moverse
|I will move||Yo me moveré|
|You will move||Tú te moverás|
|He, she, it will move (fml. You will move)||Él, ella, usted se moverá|
|We will move||Nosotros nos moveremos|
|You will move||Ustedes se moverán|
|They will move||Ellos, ellas se moverán|
Mudar in its basic meaning expresses change. It comes from “mutāre” in Latin.
You’ll use it to express a change in form, state, or place.
Necesitamos mudar este sofa.
We need to move this sofa.
La voz del niño empezó a mudar muy temprano.
The boy’s voice began to changa very early.
This is the verb to use if you want to talk about animals shedding or molting.
Las serpientes mudan periódicamente.
Snakes shed their skin periodically.
Este pajarito está mudando.
This little bird is molting.
If you use it with the preposition de, it means “to change,” a synonym of cambiar:
Todos podemos mudar de opinión.
We can all change our minds.
Meaning and Usage of Mudarse
Mudarse is more common than mudar. It has two basic meanings: to change your address and to change your clothes.
Me mudé cinco veces el año pasado.
I moved five times last year.
Nos acabamos de mudar de México.
We just moved from México.
Tienes que mudarte para la ceremonial.
You have to change for the party.
Now let’s see the mudarse conjugation in the present, past, and future tenses. It follows -ar conjugation rules.
Present Tense Conjugation Chart: Mudarse
Preterite Tense Conjugation Chart: Mudarse
|I changed||Yo me mudé|
|You changed||Tú te mudaste|
|He, she, it changed (fml. You changed)||Él, ella, usted se mudó|
|We changed||Nosotros nos mudamos|
|You changed||Ustedes se mudaron|
|They changed||Ellos, ellas se mudaron|
Future Tense Conjugation Chart: Mudarse
|I will change||Yo me mudaré|
|You will change||Tú te mudarás|
|He, she, it will change (fml. You will change)||Él, ella, usted se mudará|
|We will change||Nosotros nos mudaremos|
|You will change||Ustedes se mudarán|
|They will change||Ellos, ellas se mudarán|
Mover vs Mudar Multiple Choice Quiz
Are you ready to put your new knowledge to the test? Take this mover vs mudar quiz to see how much of this information you retained.
1. Tienes que ____________ para la fiesta.
2. El perro ____________ la cola.
3. Mi cobra ____________ ayer.
4. Deberíamos ____________ a otro tema de conversación.
5. ____________ a esta casa hace una semana.
6. Todas las personas pueden ____________ de parecer.
7. Si ____________ ahora los alcanzamos.
8. ¿Puedes ayudarme a ____________ la mesa?
9. ____________ el brazo para ver si no está roto.
10. ¡____________ más rápido!
Practice Mover vs Mudar Now
Congratulations! Learning the difference between mover vs mudar is another step toward Spanish fluency! Becoming bilingual is a life changer! You’ll be able to get to know more people even without traveling outside the U.S. Did you know that according to CNN, there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the US who speak Spanish in their homes?
If you’re seriously thinking about becoming bilingual in Spanish, let a teacher help you polish your skills. Sign up for a free class with one of our professional native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala and practice mover vs mudar with them.
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